Posts Tagged Tom Boonen

Tom Boonen is back to racing but missed World Championship opportunity

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) is racing for the first time since June having recovered from a knee injury. Is he on his new EMX-7?

Boonen sees Geelong Worlds as missed opportunity
The world championship course in Geelong was tailor-made for Tom Boonen. Unfortunately the Belgian sprinter missed out on the chance of winning a second rainbow jersey because he is recovering from a knee surgery. Boonen won the Worlds title in Madrid in 2005 on a similar course.

“You only get two or three chances in life to be world champion. This was perhaps my second,” Boonen admitted told Sporza.

“Hindsight is always easy, but if I had been fit, I would surely have been in the final group,” he said. “Whether I would also have won, that’s a different question.”

The QuickStep rider didn’t watch much of the race, as he was riding in the Circuit Franco-Belge. “I only saw the last two kilometers. And then the rebroadcast. I’m not an early bird!” he said.

The Belgian said that he was happy for new world champion Thor Hushovd.

“He deserved to be world champion. I had already seen that he looked very sharp in training.” Both riders live in Monaco, and Boonen expects to congratulate Hushovd for his win there, later this week.

The short French-Belgian stage race was Boonen’s first competitive race since the Tour de Suisse in June. Although the first three stages ended in mass sprints, he did not participate in any of them and he did not start the final stage.

The good news was that his knee didn’t hurt. “I can go home with a good feeling. The knee did not act up and I never had to force myself.”

The bad news, though, was in the pouring rain on Saturday, “I noticed that a certain fear has crept into my head: the fear of crashing again. It will take some time before that feeling is gone.”

Boonen will continue with his autumn program of racing but doesn’t expect to win this year. “Next week Paris-Tours is on the program. Just riding it to the end would please me very much,” he said. “It’s about going into the winter with a good feeling.”

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Boonen’s Two-Stage-Winning Eddy Merckx Bike

The two best-known stars of Belgian cycling have come together at Quick Step this year. Eddy Merckx bicycles returned to the top echelon of cycling again with the sponsorship of the Belgian ProTour team of Belgian national champion Tom Boonen.

For 2010, Quick Step switched from Specialized to Eddy Merckx bikes. Boonen rides the EMX-5. This year Eddy Merckx, the man, will be 65, and Eddy Merckx the bicycle brand will be 30 years old. At the Tour of Qatar, Eddy Merckx, the man, often rode the mornings before the stages.

Boonen’s frameset is custom in its geometry, but similar in construction to the stock EMX-5 with 46HM 3K carbon fiber. “It only took one month,” Boonen said of the custom process.

Deda Zero100 bars and stem, in aluminum, of course. Saddle maker Prologo also provides the team with handlebar tape.

Quick Step rides wheels from Fast Forward, a Dutch company. These F5C wheels are built with DT Swiss 240s hubs, DT Aerolite spokes and DT brass nipples.

Fast Forward like most wheel companies has a full range of rim depths. The F5C comes in a 50mm height. The set weighs 1,450 grams.

Boonen is on Look’s new Keo Blade, which uses a carbon leaf spring instead of a standard metal coil spring to keep the cleat clipped in. These ti spindle models weigh 195 grams for the set. Tension isn’t adjustable per se, but you can switch out the carbon leaf to increase or decrease tension.

After years of loyally riding the Selle San Marco Regal, Boonen is on Prologo this year. However, he chose a wider model (145mm) than the rest of his teammates, who ride the standard Prologo Scratch Pro in a 134mm width. “I have wider hips so I need a wider saddle,” he said. “After 10 years of racing I know the position I like, and I’m not going to change.”

BBB provides helmets, sunglasses and basic computers, such as this BCP-32W. While many riders now race with power meters, Boonen says he prefers to race on instinct and feel. “You can have this computer,” he said. The top speed recorded on it in Qatar was 72.8kph.

Boonen chats about his Look Keo Blade pedals with Team Sky’s Scott Sunderland and Steven De Jongh.

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Tribute to Tom Boonen

Nickname: Tornado Tom, Staf
Birthday: 1980-10-15
Birthplace: Mol
Residence: Mol
Height: 192cm
Weight: 82kg
Civil Status: Girlfriend

Tom Boonen is one of Belgium’s best-known sports stars who has also been one of the world’s best sprinters and classics riders. He has won a total of six Tour de France stages and in 2007 took home the green jersey awarded to the race’s best sprinter. Enjoy his video right below…

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